New to Sat TV on the boat

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by sb in gp, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. sb in gp

    sb in gp Member

    754
    Oct 10, 2006
    Grosse Pointe, MI
    44 Sedan Bridge 2006
    Cummins QSC-500
    I'm sure this has been covered before, but with rapidly changing technology it probably needs a refresh.

    The wife loves cruising, but she misses having decent TV to unwind to and wake up to when we're at a remote location. I'm a cord cutter at home that gets all my TV OTA or through Roku devices. I've never owned Dish or any other satellite system.

    I've been holding out thinking hi-speed WIFI was going to proliferate more, but the places we go in Northern MI are very poorly serviced by WIFI or OTA TV, so I've promised the wife I'd get her TV for next season. I'm thinking satellite seems like the only reliable option, is that true.

    With satellite TV there seem to be a lot of options and extremely different price ranges. I can see spending about $3K, give or take. Here are some details:
    • I cruise in the Great Lakes only, and I doubt we'll ever take this boat further.
    • HD is required. At least 480P, 720P preferred.
    • I'm willing to pay a monthly subscription during the season
    • I have an open array radar already on the arch, so I may need to mount it on a pedestal.
    • Only need 1 TV connected right now (we don't watch in the berths)
    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Scott
     
  2. bmac

    bmac Active Member

    Jan 11, 2008
    Holbrook, NY
    2006 58 Sedan Bridge, Walker Bay Generation 390 RIB w/40hp Yamaha, 2014 Wellcraft 232 CC w/Yamaha
    MAN 900 CRM
    Scott

    I've had experience with both DirecTv and Dish. Both have plusses and minuses. The big one for you though is the desire for HD. To get HD on DirecTV requires an HD capable satellite dish. I've looked at Intellian and KVH for this application and the dish alone is $7-10k. I know the Raymarine unit used to pick up both HD and SD satellites but I don't know if it still does. With Dish, you can pick up some HD channels with a KVH TV3 or 5 dish, though I'm not sure if that still applies, it did up to about a year and a half ago. In either case, you need HD capable boxes on the boat as well as an HD capable dish. DirecTV only allows you to suspend service for 6 months out of a year, not sure what Dish does in that regard. DirecTV costs me about $150/month.
     
  3. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 741, 742, 8212, 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    Scott, I would suggest Dish over DirecTV. DirecTV's customer service was bad before AT&T, and they've managed to make it worse since.

    Dish also seems to have a better grasp of the needs of RV'ers and boaters, both in terms of equipment and seasonal usage.

    Other considerations include the placement of the receiver and the connections. SeaRay's coax networks are notoriously bad, so your installation may require running new RG6 and HDMI lines. I keep my receiver in a locker and use an RF remote.

    My Intellian is capable of receiving HD, but through Dish only. Doing so requires a separate module to automatically switch between satellites as well as only being compatible with a specific (and basic) Dish receiver.
     
  4. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    I agree with the numbers on HD cost - closer to 10K for sat hardware.

    Have had both Dish and DirectTv on a boat, both are difficult to deal with.

    Moved our boat from FL to Chesapeake this year, after a multitude of calls was never able to change our primary service area with DirectTV, finally gave up since we are about to move back south again.
     
  5. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 741, 742, 8212, 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    Dish now has a "Dish for My RV" division. Separate phone numbers and state-side reps to answer the phone. No contracts - pay as you go. They weren't perfect, but miles ahead of my DirecTV IMO.
     
  6. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Did not know that - would solve a lot of issues. When I had Dish and had to call I learned to ask for escalation - then through 2nd level support - could get to the RV group.

    Have not found that pathway with DirectTV.
     
    RollerCoastr likes this.
  7. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 741, 742, 8212, 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    If only I could bill DirecTV for the time I've spent fighting them! Every so often they run "audits" and determine that MY equipment is theirs. The first time it happened, I believed them and paid "rent" on equipment that was in storage all winter. I eventually got it refunded, but it happened twice after that.

    I thought I would get smart last year and cancel my account in the fall, and start-up with a new account in the spring. I'd get a new customer discount (because they punish loyalty) AND there would be no record of rented equipment in my new account.

    They outsmarted me. They refused to start a new account with SD service. They even sent a tech to the boat carrying an HD dvr/receiver. They would however, let me cancel the new account and re-activate the old account with SD.

    Sigh.
     
  8. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    Do you boat where you get consistent cell service? Have you considered a hotspot on your phone and simply using the Roku or other streaming device via the hotspot?

    Paying for the personal hotspot feature and unlimited data will be loads cheaper than satellite TV for the boat.
     
    joeyleggz likes this.
  9. The Bill Collector

    The Bill Collector Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    450 Sundancer
    3126 Cat's
    We have Direct, on the boat, RV & house. 11 years + now. Last year we bought a newer RV with an older Winegard dish on top and Direct CS bent over backwards talking me through the setup. Eventually, I just went out and bought a new dish as the Winegard was too much of a PITA.
    [​IMG]
    KING VQ4100 Quest Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV Antenna (for use with DIRECTV)

    KING
    Sold by: Tweetys
    $359.80

    I have Verizon cell service with unlimited hotspot and if we don't have Wifi available we stream off of my phone and I have been very surprised on how well it works even with very spotty cell service.
     
  10. bmac

    bmac Active Member

    Jan 11, 2008
    Holbrook, NY
    2006 58 Sedan Bridge, Walker Bay Generation 390 RIB w/40hp Yamaha, 2014 Wellcraft 232 CC w/Yamaha
    MAN 900 CRM
    If i recall, you can go into one of the receiver set up menus and input your local zip code and that will change your local programming. I’ve never tried it as my wife prefers to watch our local stations when we travel, so I may be all wet about this.
     
  11. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 741, 742, 8212, 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    In my old receiver, entering the zip would only produce the azimuth to point the dish. It would be very nice if they now allowed us to choose which local channels we get...
     
  12. PMC

    PMC Well-Known Member

    Apr 10, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    2001 40 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 6CTA
    We're using Dish, and do subscriber to the locals. Dish did the programming on their end down to the smart card. We get *some* HD programming still, but they keep moving that off to other satellites on a newer technology.....I'm using an older M3Dx. I mostly see SD and to be honest, it is not a problem on a 32" TV.

    We pay as you go, and just cancel the service during the winter layup. Each year, it's a phone call to reactivate, TV is back on line in 30 min.
     
  13. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    • I’ve got Direct TV with a KVH system that was on the boat when we bought it. After using it for 2 seasons. I’m not sure that I would go through the expense of installing a system if the boat didn’t come with it. I’m probably only using it because it’s there. I think I might consider investing the money in to a system that would bring in cell service from longer distances to use with my iPad and unlimited data plan instead. That may be far more versatile and reliable in the long run.
    As an AT&T unlimited date family plan subscriber I was able to get a decent price for basic Direct TV service on a single 12 volt box.
    Using a splitter, I have that box feeding all 3 TV’s on the boat so we can watch any of them depending on where we are on the boat. The TV’s will all get the same channel if they are all on.
    Dealing with Direct TV was absolutely horrible when I tried to activate the service through them. I spent many frustrating hours on the phone getting switched to different people and answering the same questions only to have them end by asking me for the address that their installer could come to for installation. They are clueless when it comes to Marine and RV service.
    I was only able to resolve it by contacting KVH customer service. After lots of frustrating calls by them, they were able to get me activated.
    KVH was great! I should have called them first.
    For that alone, if you are determined to buy one, I would strongly recommend that you get a system that gives you the option of going with Dish Network.
    Additionally, while the Direct TV service meets are need for cable and local news programming, the rest of their channels kind of suck. Lots of shopping and religious programming.
    We have smart TV’s on the boat now and when we want any kind of entertainment programming we use my iPad as a hotspot to get Netflix or Amazon Prime.
    I’ve got Netflix because my two kids who are away at college use it on their laptops instead of having cable, and I buy lots of stuff on Amazon so their video service is a bonus for me.
    We can also stream content from our home provider (Verizon Fios) to my iPad and get it in to the TV with an Apple AV adapter and HDMI cable.
    On the rare occasion that we expect to be somewhere with no cell service we download content from Netflix or Amazon to the iPad and connect the iPad to the TV.
     
  14. Fly'n Family

    Fly'n Family Active Member

    583
    Sep 19, 2013
    TX / CO
    2002 Cruisers Yachts 3870
    2003 Boston Whaler Sport 130 w/40 hp Merc
    Twin 425hp Crusaders
    Consider this. Inexpensive, and works great if you have good phone reception.

    Dish TV recently came out with their Dish TV Anywhere app. As we have Dish at home, the app runs off our living room TV - out on the water via the phone app.

    Get a Bluetooth adaptor, or a cord to run from your phone (I have an iPhone so I use their Lightning adapter), and your done.

    Costs nothing, as it's feeding off your existing Dish from home, and I can watch any of the 300 channels I have at home. I can even pull from movies/shows stored on the DVR. Watching at home or on the water - they don't interfere with each other if someone at home is watching the home TV. Really slick. Oh ya...you get incredible sound as it comes through your boat sound system via Bluetooth.

    Super easy, super inexpensive, and no different than watching my home tv - on the boat - as long as you have decent reception.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  15. sb in gp

    sb in gp Member

    754
    Oct 10, 2006
    Grosse Pointe, MI
    44 Sedan Bridge 2006
    Cummins QSC-500
    The problem is we have almost no phone service in remote areas we boat, which is part of the charm.

    This is a “happy wife” request, most of you will understand.
     
    BAC.94 likes this.

Share This Page

Show Sidebar